The Daily Dish

Floyd Cardoz Reflects on 'Top Chef Masters' Win, Offers Up Advice

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Floyd Cardoz Reflects on 'Top Chef Masters' Win, Offers Up Advice

He's also bummed he won't be reigning champ after the new winner is named.

Floyd Cardoz

Floyd Cardoz's time as Top Chef Masters king is ticking away, as the show's new season premieres tomorrow (Wednesday, July 25), and he knows that he might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

"I'm sad I only have a few more weeks to be the reigning champion," Floyd joked during an interview with The Dish during the Smithfield Think Pink Pork event that Cardoz was cooking at. Having beaten out Traci Des Jardins and Mary Sue Milliken to win Season 3 of TCM, Floyd has some advice for the fourth season's competitors when it comes to upping your chances at winning: Be yourself.

"You have to cook from your heart," he told us. "I cook to what speaks to me and what puts a part of myself in the food. On the show that's what I did. I put myself in my food every single day."

Looking back, Floyd loved the cameraderie of hanging out with Traci and his pal John Currence, and he also reminisced a bit about his favorite moments from the season.

"The one that really got me was being able to cook for The Biggest Loser. That felt good to be able to use my talent to do that, and also the episode with the servicemen. I'm sure most people in the United States would have the same reaction because you meet people you only usually hear about, because most people don't have a brother or a cousin in the Army. So, when you see people in the flesh and meet them, it really affects you and you feel good about it." Watch below and read more of Floyd's interview.

Floyd Cardoz at Pink Pork Event

Speaking of feeling good, once he did win, the reaction from fans of the show was a major shock to Floyd. "The reaction from fans is what surprised me the most. So many people watch and you don't know -- to see how many people watch is amazing," he said. "Most of the fans are the nicest people. As a person who's done a lot of this, having fans that care about the food and about the chef is really great."

At the event, Floyd was whipping up all things porcine -- from homemade chorizo to smoked loin to neck and trotter croquettes -- ringing home the new USDA guidelines that pink pork at a temperature of 145 degrees is now acceptable. He says he comes from "maybe the only state in India" in which pork is a main part of the diet, and that "it's been a big part of my culture with the Portuguese. My grandparents always raised pigs and slaughtered them and made sausage and cured meats and stews. Pork has always been a part of my lexicon. It's more versatile." And aside from just schooling people to the new pink pork revolution, Cardoz also hopes people will expand their boundaries when it comes to different cuts.

"Offal is something that all my great grandmothers never wasted. Pigs feet, pig nose, pig ears -- they always found a way to use it," he says.

Tune into Top Chef Masters when it returns Wednesday at 10/9 Central!


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Andy Cohen Shares His Favorite Books of the Year

Last-minute shoppers rejoice! See what's on his list.

Is there any better gift than a really great yarn?

As a bestselling author and a pop culture aficionado, Andy Cohen dropped by TODAY this morning to give his expert opinion on the best books of the year to gift to your loved ones.

For your parents, he has two recommendations: Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller The Goldfinch and Henry Bushkin's biography Johnny Carson. Of the former, Andy called it "a beautifully written story that everyone can relate to in a different way." And of the juicy tell-all, Andy claimed "the author will burn in hell for writing this, breaking every confidentiality agreement in the book, but it's a fascinating story behind the icon."

Looking for a tome for your spouse or significant other? Andy chose Revival by Stephen King, though he readily admitted he's got ulterior motives. "I would give this to my significant other so I could borrow it in two days when he's done," he said. "Stephen King is the master at can't-put-down writing."

I'd give Stephen King's 'Revival' to my significant other—so I could borrow it when he's done!

Andy Cohen

For the little ones, Andy had an unconventional picture book to recommend: The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak. "The book forces adults to perform for their kids when reading it," he said. "Kids will love it and adults might get irritated by it."

Three other books rounded out his list of recommendations: The Andy Warhol Diaries (which inspired his own bestseller The Andy Cohen Diaries), which he said "reads today like a gossipy pop culture time capsule;" Andrea Martin's memoir Lady Parts, which Andy revealed "is full of funny and touching reflections on the comedian's incredible life and career;" and the photography book The Sarcastic Lens by Richard and Amy Lynn, which Andy simply claimed he really loves and that it "makes for a really cool holiday gift."

One final book recommendation? How about The Andy Cohen Diaries for your friends? "I kept a top secret diary for a year and everyone's in it," Andy said. "It's breezy, funny, dishy, and surprisingly touching!"

[Source: Today]

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